UFC 238 is finally here and with names like Tuivasa, Cowboy, Ferguson, Schevchenko, Eye, Moraes and Cejudo on the main card its no wonder a stacked prelim card has a shadow cast over it.
The prelims include a former title challenger at strawweight (Karolina Kowalkiewicz) who will look to bounce back after back-to-back defeats. As well as two top bantamweights battling it out in a no.1 contender’s match to set a future match-up with the winner of the nights main event. However, here at Unknown MMA, we believe the fight to watch will be the featured bout on the prelims between two top-ranked strawweights: “The Female Khabib” Tatiana Suarez (7-0-0) vs. Nina Ansaroff (10-5-0).
A post shared by Tatiana Suarez Padilla (@tatianasuarezufc) on Jun 4, 2019 at 11:11am PDT
Since Tatiana’s coming out party on TUF 23 where she reined Queen of the season, she has maintained her dominance amongst the divisions best. It’s the ease in which she’s won and the dominant wrestling that has made many fans label her “the female Khabib”. Just like Khabib, prior to winning his belt, Tatiana has had a tough time finding opponents because her style is a problem for many especially those in contention for a title. On an Interview (Be sure to check it out if you haven’t) with our very own, Rory – Tatiana states that during the time where she didn’t have an opponent, it was frustrating and at one point thought a possible fight against “The Karate Hottie” would happen but Waterson turned it down, just to pick a fight with Karolina. Tatiana let it be known that Waterson must’ve turned her down because she knew “I was a tougher match-up than Karolina”. When it comes down to it though Tatiana “Just wants to MAUL somebody”, her style is to grind and eventually impose her will and break her opponent’s spirit. This Saturday, June 8th, she gets that opportunity.
As for Nina, many fight fans probably know her more so for being the girlfriend to “champ champ” Amanda Nunes then they probably do for her activity in the octagon.
A post shared by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Nina Ansaroff (@ninaansaroff) on Jun 4, 2019 at 4:43pm PDT
Regardless of what you think though she has quietly won her last 4 fights and during that streak has beaten the likes of Angela Hill, Randa Markos and pulled off the upset against one of the divisions best, Claudia Gadelha. All 4 of her wins inside the UFC have come via decision and although she doesn’t have the unblemished record that Tatiana carries with her, she has only been finished once in her entire career (submission). She’s no walk in the park and her recent winning streak is all the proof you need in that pudding. Add that to the fact that she trains at one of the greatest gyms (American Top Team in Florida) in the Nation, where champions and former champions are walking in and out to train, constantly. Ansaroff definitely has the resources to assist in her preparation for an opponent that many believe is on the verge of something great.
A post shared by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Nina Ansaroff (@ninaansaroff) on Mar 15, 2019 at 3:27am PDT
The winner of this fight is lining themselves up to get the next shot at the title (unless your name is Michelle Waterson, then your probably think otherwise), especially if, the former champ, Rose is taking an extended hiatus. Nina will look to keep her distance and strike from the outside. Knowing her best chance is to keep the fight on the feet – which is easier said than done – and out strike Tatiana ultimately leading to a decision win. While Suarez will look to stick to the game plan and shoot for a takedown as soon as possible and “MAUL” Nina. Both fighters’ know a win will finally put the division and the current champ on notice – making it nearly impossible for the UFC to not reward the winner with a championship shot. For Nina, a win will get her one step closer to the ultimate dream, gain her the respect she deserves and makes her more just “the girlfriend of Amanda Nunes”. While a win for Tatiana will send the ultimate message to everyone else in the division and whether they already know it or not, that any and every avenue to the belt will eventually run through her.
Be sure to catch this bout live on ESPN as the UFC 238 Featured Preliminary Bout.